Latest Rail News

Metro's Safety Department received approval from the Tri-state Oversight Committee to close 22 corrective action plans last month that address safety issues identified during internal and TOC safety audits. Some of the plans closed in June included identifying and marking tripping hazards near the tracks, evaluating and updating communication procedures for track workers and developing standards for allowable wheel roughness and wheel repair for rail cars. 

Metro's staff presented these and other steps made to improve safety to the Metro Board of Director's Customer Service, Operations and Safety Committee.

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For Florida's high-speed rail, early work begins July 19 -- in a very geeky way, local media report. Crews are starting "geotechnical exploration."

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PBS Coals has invested in its own stretch of railroad, and this summer work on the project is complete, the Somerset, Pa., Daily American reports.

 The Friedens, Pa., company now has a 10-mile railway that will transport most of the coal to a Baltimore port to be exported. The project cost "just shy of $1 million," according to Hank Parke, director of business development.

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Saturday, July 17 to Thursday, July 22, crews will continue a project that will improve rail crossings at Mary and Sunnyvale avenues in Sunnyvale, Calif. Crews will grade and trench the site and install foundations for the improvements. They also will make wiring modifications in the signal houses. The work is part of a VTA project to improve safety at eight crossings in Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Palo Alto.

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On July 19, Sound Transit will mark the first birthday of Central Link light rail, which during its inaugural year of operations attracted an estimated six million riders.

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Top officials with the Michigan Department of Transportation and Amtrak joined representatives of the city of Pontiac and Greyhound July 16 to break ground for the new Pontiac Transportation Center, which will serve intercity rail and bus passengers. The intermodal station project is funded with $1.4 million from the state's Comprehensive Transportation Fund account.

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A major program to rebuild nearly two-dozen century-old railroad bridges on Metra's Union Pacific North line is expected to start next month and will mean schedule changes for thousands of commuters, the Chicago Tribune reports. Although the bridges are on Chicago's North Side, the entire line will be affected because the project will force northbound and southbound trains onto a single track at work sites, officials said.

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While passenger trains are still at least two years away from running on a "Three-C" corridor for which Ohio has obtained federal stimulus money, state officials have begun looking at what they hope will be a second phase, which would include two Toledo routes. The Toledo Blade reports that the Ohio Rail Development Commission has signed a $7.8 million contract with AECOM, a Los Angeles engineering firm, to assess what would need to be done to institute 110-mph passenger trains on four routes, including Detroit-Toledo-Cleveland and Toledo-Columbus.

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(Editor's note: This story updates a story posted on this Website July 13.) Mayor Richard J. Berry said that the City of Albuquerque has been awarded $6.72 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to build the Montaño Intermodal Center. The center will provide a new connection between ABQ Ride buses and the New Mexico Rail Runner Express commuter train near the intersection of Montaño and 2nd St.

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The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has approved upgrades at railroad crossings in Fayette and Ross counties, The Gazette reports. The Norfolk Southern crossing at East Second Street in Chillicothe and the Indiana and Ohio Railway crossing at Oakland Avenue in Washington Court House will receive upgrades that include flashing lights and roadway gates through federal funds.

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